Jun 3, 2013

Two Ways to Engage in the Environment This Weekend! * June 26 Film Event Focuses on Fracking in Grand Traverse Area * Foodopoly Author Speaks in Grand Rapids June 25

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Michigan Chapter Update 
June 2, 2013

In This Issue:

  • Two Ways to Engage in the Environment This Weekend!
  • Join the Pooparazzi...Become a Factory Farm Water Monitor
  • Foodopoly Author Speaks in Grand Rapids June 25
  • June 26 Film Event Focuses on Fracking in Grand Traverse Area
  • Environmental Justice Orgnaizer Rhonda Anderson Wins Virginia Ferguson Award
  • Support Sierra Club the eBay Way!
  • Your Chance to Fight Back Coming in July!

Sierra Club will have a booth at the Michigan Energy Fair in Ludington and the 2013 Michigan Summit in East Lansing this weekend. Drop by!

Two Ways to Engage in the Environment This Weekend!

Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association Michigan Energy Fair -- Fri. and Sat., June 7 and 8, at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Ludington. This annual event features workshops, speakers, clean energy exhibitors and energy activities. Consumers Energy will also offer free tours of the nearby Lake Winds Energy Park.  Check out the fair this weekend and drop by the Sierra Club exhibitor booth!  If you'd like to volunteer to help, emailtiffany.hartung@sierraclub.org. For more info on the fair, visit www.glrea.org.
2013 Michigan Summit -- Sat., June 8, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Brody Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing. This is the premier, politically progressive networking, training, and recognition event in Michigan held once a year. The conference will feature breakout sessions to challenge and inspire you to take action. It will also feature exciting presenters from around the country includingkeynote speaker and United Auto Workers President Bob King and Partnership for Working Families Executive Director Leslie Moody. Join us and hundreds of like-minded volunteers and organizations at the Michigan Summit and don't forget to stop by the Sierra Club booth. Register today to reserve your spot.

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Factory farm waste makes its way into our lakes, rivers and streams, threatening our health and the quality of our life. Click here to donate to our Less=More campaign to end support to polluting factory farms(Photo: Tim McCabe, USDA NRCS)

Join the Pooparazzi...Become a Factory Farm Water Monitor!

Concerned citizens across the state of Michigan are training to monitor the condition of local streams, lakes, and wetlands to determine how they're impacted by nearby factory farms, which generate millions of gallons of chemical- and contaminant-laden waste that gets into our waterways. Michigan Chapter staff Lynn Henning and Cecilia Garcia recently conducted the first of several volunteer training sessions with a group of concerned citizens in Delton, a beautiful community in Barry County populated by several industrial livestock operations. These volunteer "water sentinels" will help us build awareness of pollution, identify and  restore compromised sites, collect water quality data for use in Environmental Protection Agency rule enforcement, and advocate for their local watersheds.
We're offering two free, introductory water monitoring webinars on Tues, June 18, and Thurs, June 20, from 7-8 p.m. for folks interested in learning more about this vital volunteer activity. To register, emailcecilia.garcia@sierraclub.org and put your preferred webinar date in the subject line. For questions, call 517-484-2372, x 10.
To learn more about Less=More, our campaign targeting taxpayer subsidies that give an unfair advantage to factory farms over sustainable livestock farmers, visit MoreforMichigan.org or check us out on Facebook.  To donate online to Less=More, click here.

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This short video gives an overview of Foodopoly, a new book by Wenonah Hauter that reveals the ugly business of American farming and food production. Hauter will be at Schuler Books's 28th Street store in Grand Rapids June 25.

Foodopoly Author Speaks in Grand Rapids June 25

The Less=More Coalition presents a talk by Foodopoly author Wenonah Hauter, Tues., June 25, at 7 p.m. at Schuler Books and Music, 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. Blending history, reporting, and a deep understanding of American farming and food production, Foodopoly reveals theshocking business behind the meat, vegetables, grains and milk that most Americans eat every day, including some of the most respected organic and health-conscious brands.  Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming shows how our agricultural policy has has been hijacked by lobbyists, driving out independent farmers and food processors in favor of industrial food giants such as Cargill, Tyson, Kraft and ConAgra with diverse impacts--from economic stagnation in US rural communities to famine overseas.
Hauter will discuss her book and solutions to the problems, including Less=More's work to take on factory farm subsidies in Michigan, and be available to sign copies afterwards. This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, email Tia Lebherz at tlebherz@fwwatch.org or call 312-486-1356.

A listing of the chemicals involved in hydraulic fracturing that have been found in watersheds nationwide (screenshot fromThe Sky is Pink).

June 26 Film Event Focuses on Fracking in Grand Traverse Area

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter presents a screening of The Sky is Pink, a short film about the controversial method of natural gas extraction known as fracking, Wed., June 26, at 7 p.m. at the Traverse Area District Library, McGuire Room, 610 Woodmere, Traverse City. The event is free and open to the public.
Grand Traverse-area residents concerned about the quality of their water, air and natural resources are invited to the screening, which will be followed by a discussion of important regional environmental, legislative and political issues. Sierra Club staff and volunteer leaders will present opportunities for concerned citizens to get involved in environmental protection efforts in northwest Michigan.
The Sky is Pink is an 18-minute documentary by Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of Gasland, about New York state's urgent crisis of drilling and fracking, which is now an emerging issue in northwest Michigan as well.  Under weak environmental regulations, fracking in Michigan blasts millions of gallons of chemical-laced water into rock to release gas.  The result is air pollution and toxic water wells that have produced flaming faucets, as shown in Gasland, and even earthquakes.
To RSVP for this event, email williamstrong@sbcglobal.net or call 269-372-3642.

Environmental Justice Organizer Rhonda Anderson Wins Virginia Ferguson Award

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Rhonda Anderson, Sierra Club's environmental justice organizer working in metropolitan Detroit, received the national Sierra Club's Virginia Ferguson Award for her "consistent and exemplary service" working in what is known as the most polluted area of Michigan. In River Rouge, Ecorse and the 48217 neighborhood of Detroit, Rhonda has assisted communities to reimagine themselves even while being surrounded by some the most polluting industries in Michigan, including an old, coal-fired power plant and the state's only oil refinery, which receives oil sands from Canada through the Enbridge pipeline. 
Rhonda is helping them create a new vision for the region, not solely reliant on heavy industry and polluting facilities, but based on new ideas of clean energy, good jobs and vibrant neighborhoods. To this end, Rhonda and lead environmental justice volunteer, Delores Leonard, recently worked with allies on the Detroit Digital Justice Project, which helped provide internet to residents and bring educational and career opportunities to a by-passed community. Congratulations on a job well-done, Rhonda!

Ebay Gives Image 

Support Sierra Club the eBay Way!

Sierra Club has partnered with eBay's charity fundraising program, ebay Giving Works, to bring awareness and raise funds for nonprofits like us dedicated to changing the world. Here's how it works:
BUY: Click on this link to go to the Michigan Chapter's page on eBay showing outdoor gear and apparel items for sale with the proceeds going to the Chapter. When your item sells, you will get a tax donation receipt for the donated portion of your proceeds.
SELL: Got some outdoor equipment or apparel lying around your house that you don't know what to do with? Contact the Michigan Chapter and we can arrange for collection of your items to either sell on eBay or at our Chapter Retreat in August.
WHAT: Outdoor apparel from top brands like Patagonia & the North Face; Tents and camping accessories (stoves, headlamps, sleeping pads, etc.); Bags and backpacks; Winter outerwear; Other miscellaneous items that need a new home like snowshoes, yoga mats, binoculars, biking equipment, etc.
Our goal is to post on eBay year-round, so you can buy, sell or donate anytime to support the Michigan Chapter's work. We're so thankful for your support and contributions, no matter how big or small. For details, contact cecilia.garcia@sierraclub.org 517-484-2372 or jan.oconnell@sierraclub.org  616-956-6646.

Your Chance to Fight Back Coming in July!

Sick of reading about the Michigan legislature's attacks on the environment? Here's your chance to fight back. The Michigan Chapter's Political Committee is hosting their 2013 Kickoff Fundraiser July 27 in East Lansing. All of the proceeds will go toward helpingelect pro-environment candidates to the Michigan legislature and local offices next year.
Sierra Club Michigan Chapter's 2013 Kickoff Fundraiser
Saturday, July 27, 2 - 6 p.m.
@ the East Lansing home of Chapter Political Director Mike Berkowitz
RSVP to mike.berkowitz@sierraclub.org

Can't make it to the fundraiser but still want to make a donation? Click here to for directions on how to make your donation!
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 Michigan Chapter - Sierra Club
109 E. Grand River Avenue
Lansing, MI 48906 
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Header photo Near Andrus Lake, Upper Michigan, by Beverly Wolf.

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